Thursday, October 27, 2016

Read & review, KHAFA, historical romance w/mysticism of ancient Egypt and DEVIL SENT THE RAIN, Lisa Turner's southern murder mystery w/Faulknerian touches

8 Days and counting until the release of Khafa The High Priestess!! Pre-Order "Khafa The High Priestess!" by Lory La Selva Paduano; be the first to read and review it!

Genre novels beyond the formulas? These stories deliver what fans love and expect but also something surprising.  As a fan of literature, I like that a historical fiction chooses not Europe but the relatively unknown world of Ancient Egypt. I like that a crime story with colorful dialect, is built around the atavistic character of an old southern family.

KHAFA: The High Priestess by Lory LaSelva Paduano (Elevation Books) is a rare historical fiction set not in the Europe of Dukes but the Antediluvian Egypt of Pharaohs. It begins with the Hawann family in Atlanta, Georgia and comes to encompass ancient conspiracies, outrageous excesses, the debut of the Freemasons, and the mysticism of a legendary religious heritage--the intriguing Khemitians. Their hidden knowledge (which references Tesler and Alessandro Volta) makes you wonder about the real purpose of the Great Pyramid.
Young Liz Hawann grows up listening to her grandmother's spellbinding story of the indigenous dynasty, that was her family. There's the lovely girl Pharaoh, unprepared to rule a country. The power behind her throne is the beautiful and cunning Khafa, the High Priestess. Stunning, savage, and beautiful, she is a towering figure in the saga. Passionate and far-seeing, the High Priestess will betray and be betrayed, inspire great desire and war, attempt great feats of science and flee for her life. Though indelible to Liz, the High Priestess was erased from any hieroglyphic. At the end of KHAFA, Liz proves a worthy descendant, brilliant, beautiful, and stronger than she knows. 

This is a fun engrossing read, where you, like Liz, want to know what happens in the Kingdom.And, as her destiny unfolds, you discover the true identity of the woman from Atlanta.

In the opening of DEVIL SENT THE RAIN, you get the expected corpse, a bride in a bloody wedding dress but her car's in a surreal bison refuge--a touch Flannery O'Connor might like. Billy Able's the hard-bitten detective with a soft heart, known for his bad temper and penchant for solving cases with hunches. He's a local Memphis boy, though not his female partner, Frankie Malone, his meticulous and not so confident junior. There's the expected police chief, who keeps them in-line.

What's not typical of the genre is the colorful patter, which explores the strangely desperate dark side of the genteel aristocracy. O'Connor used patter as a veneer for an almost Darwinian savagery. Faulkner's dialects are currents of tortured emotion about privilege, home and habit gone or cries of the dirt poor, who never really had a place in a world sinking like swampland. Multiple narratives, interior monologues meander with a sense that accrues like soil.

Turner's words serve Billy, who's got a job to do. An orphan from the "wrong side of the tracks," raised with a reverence for the powerful Lees, he knew well from work in his uncle's coffee shop. The beautiful Caroline Lee, partner in her family's law firm, was the corpse in the car. He has an unprofessional passion to nail her killer. But finding the truth means he must give no quarter to sentiment. He has to tame his temper, relinquish cherished beliefs, and upend his town's class system. In the process, he endangers his life and his job--not to mention his partner's future. In the end, he must also accept that the fact he can't make the world "right as rain."

This a book Turner's fans will like. It's also enjoyable, if you haven't read a previous Billy Able mystery.